This story is about story about the tragic consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder, but the narrator never comes out and says so. Erdrich describes post-traumatic stress symptoms as a narrator than a factual description. The theme of the story is there are bigger forces that can come between brotherly love and…..?.
The Red Convertible is about Lyman, who narrates the story about his memories and relationship with his brother. They go on a road trip over the summer, next Henry is deployed to Vietnam. While Henry is away Lyman takes care of the car for when he comes back, however when he returned he wasn’t the same. Lyman tries to help his brother, but Henry doesn’t change. Next Lyman destroys the car, hoping that it will change Henry, and he would want to fix it, which he does. When Henry was done fixing it he and Lyman take it for a ride to the red river. Lyman thinks his brother is back to normal, but when they reach the river, Henry acts strangely and plunges into the river. Knowing that Henry is dead, Lyman pushes the convertible into the river so that it may share Henry’s fate.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that occurs after one sees or experiences a traumatic event that involves the threat of injury or death. PTSD can come from natural disasters or it can come from, assault, prison, rape, terrorism and war. There are three categories of PTSD; the first one is reliving the event, it disturbs day to day activity. There are flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again. There are repeated upsetting memories of the event. The person has repeated nightmares of the event. Finally there are strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event.
For the group re-experiencing the trauma, the story sort of shows Henry thinking about the war without the reader actually knowing. There are no flashbacks or nightmares mentioned in the story, but this quote...
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